Archive for September, 2010

On way to Rome–Restroom Attendants?

September 28th, 2010 Comments off

What’s with restroom attendants in public resgtrooms now?  Like, at  the

the Charlotte airport.  But as Avis says, if your life is tending a bathroom, what sort of life is that?  leave a buck.

Security?  had to take off my belt.  Don’t want to take off my belt–i8t’s got 1800 Euros stowed in it!  So forget the money belt as a safe way to carry your cash.  (Had to have the cash, no checks accepted at our apartment rental.)

Categories: Italy, Uncategorized Tags:

Trauma 911

September 3rd, 2010 Comments off

I got about ten seconds into it.  Then the muscles in the back of my throat tightened up, I couldn’t swallow, and I couldn’t see the screen very well, my eyes got misty, I had to turn away.

I’d followed a link to an eight-minute video of the destruction of the Twin Towers on 9/11.  Couldn’t watch it.  I literally couldn’t watch it; if you’d tied me to the chair and forced my eyes toward it, I’d have closed my eyes or, if you’d propped them open with toothpicks, my mind would have blanked, I would not, could not have seen.

We’re nine years past that date, says the calendar;  but for many of us, it was just yesterday.  And we are not able to live with it, not yet.

“Get over it!” some people say.  Worse, “Get over yourself!”

That morning we’d gone back to see the gorgeous glass creations in the Frederick Carder Gallery in Corning, New York.  Finished there, we were in the visitors’ shop, and noticed some strange activity.  We asked; told there was an accident at the Towers in Manhattan; that we could watch the TV coverage from the auditorium next door.

What we saw was almost impossible to take in, too horrid to believe.  The human tragedy was simply too immense.

I knew those towers,  lived in Manhattan when they were built (had thought them ugly, a travesty), and then become used to their presence on the skyline.   I’d been in them, through them, mingled with  the thousands of people who thronged them daily.

Here today, in Corning, were frantic relatives of Tower workers, wildly scrambling with cell phones, trying to reach their  family.  And on the screen–a giant screen above the stage–behind them, a burning tower, maudlin backdrop.

Then close-ups of the tower.  People trapped in top floors.  Breaking windows.  Falling bodies.

And then the final collapse.

I firmly believe this was, for me, a traumatic event.  No other way to explain my reaction even now, nine years later.

From wikipedia: “A traumatic event involves a single experience… that completely overwhelms the individual’s ability to cope or integrate the ideas and emotions involved with that experience”

Sounds right to me.  That experience, so intimate and immediate,  there on that big screen, shared with so many others, was traumatic for me.  So that even now, my inability to “integrate” it all causes an intense emotional reaction when I’m confronted with its images, even in my own mind.

I sob once, choke it down, look away.

Categories: politicas, Uncategorized Tags: